Some Fascinating Facts about Feline Brains

Jacey Loves to do thisWe felines are smart creatures.  For example, Jacey is able to open doors and drawers, close them, and go hiding so she can ambush me or our human.  As a diabetic cat, I sometimes frustrate my human when he’s trying to give me my insulin, because I know how to go hiding in a way that makes it difficult for him to give me my injection.  So everyone knows that we felines are smart creatures.

But what is it about our brains that makes it able to do these things?  Courtesy of my furiends from Catster, here are seven fascinating facts about feline brains:

  • The average cat has a smaller brain as a percentage of total body mass than humans or dogs.  Cat’s brains account for 0.9 percent of their body mass, versus 2.0 percent for humans and 1.2 percent for dogs.
  • Despite this smaller size, feline brains have 300 million cells in their cerebral cortex, versus 160 million in canine brains.  Humans have between 19 and 23 billion cells in their cerebral cortex.
  • Have you ever wondered why dogs do not remember things for very long but cats do?  Well, that is because we felines have short term memories that last as long as 16 hours, while a dog’s short term memory will last for around five minutes.
  • We felines do not choose to store very much in our long term memory, but what we choose to store there tends to stay for a long time.  This may be why some cats like Sushi returned home after many years.Bagheera the Diabetic Cat Thinks This is Cute!
  • Have you ever wondered why we felines observe things that you do?  It is because we learn by observation.  Kittens learn to do things by watching their mothers, and then trying to repeat the behavior until they do it right.  So when we are watching you open the refrigerator or patio door, we may be trying to figure out how to do it on our own!
  • Our cognitive abilities decline with age.  I wrote yesterday about how older felines may need special diets.  But it’s not just our bodies that age, our brain does, too.  We can even develop a condition similar to Alzheimer’s disease in humans.
  • Bagheera the Diabetic Cat Wants One of TheseWe are smarter than your tablet.  You may like your tablet, and think it’s very cool.  And I must admit, it is fun to swat at the fish going across it.  But when it comes to processing power, it is very weak compared to us.  A typical tablet has about 60 gigabytes of storage space, and can do 170 million computations per second.  That may sound impressive, but it is nothing compared to the 91,000 gigabytes of space in our brains and our ability to do 6.1 trillion computations per second.

So there you have it.  And one more thing from a diabetic cat’s perspective.  A blood sugar level that is too high or too low can affect the functioning of our brain, so make sure if you have a diabetic cat you keep the blood sugar levels where they belong!

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